Do Most People Pray Only When They Need God?
I think a better question is do most people pray at all? Prayer is a lifesaving tool that will bring blessing after blessing, and it takes just a minute of your time to do. When you wake up in the morning, a simple, “Good morning God” will do! I know, it sounds too simple to be true, but when you are just starting a relationship with someone, simplicity works best. God wants a relationship with you.
For those experienced with prayer, yes, I believe many people habitually pray most often when they have a need. This is most likely a common habit that people learn when young, depending on the type of environment they grew up in. Prayers prayed to answer a need will be answered, because God loves his children. But if you want to receive blessing after blessing, the best thing to do is to pray away, every day, just to give thanks to God and to bless him, for your life, and for the gifts that will come along throughout the course of your day. God loves to give gifts, but you won’t know that unless you pray. Not because you have to, because you want to.
Why Pray Anyway?
There are many reasons to pray. In the Bible, prayers were offered for thanksgiving, praise, worship, and blessings. It is a good idea in the society we live in today to teach our children to consider praying in times of joy and peace rather than simply in times of need. That way, prayer becomes much more a part of our daily ritual. When prayer becomes part of a routine, it is more likely to impact lives in a positive way, every day.
There are many studies suggesting prayer works, and it is a powerful healer. Prayer can for example, reduce stress. It can calm the mind, much like any meditative practice. It can encourage you to focus more on your goals, and allow you to connect in a more intimate level with God. If you start your day in prayer, and ask God to “run” your day, or guide you in your actions during the day, you are more likely to feel at ease that your day will go well. Prayer also bestows blessings on the prayee. Think of all the people in the bible that routinely prayed. Look at King David, look at Solomon. Blessing after blessing was bestowed on God’s faithful prayer warriors. Look at Abraham, look at Queen Esther. Rewards always followed God’s faithful.
Some people routinely get in the habit of getting up and saying, “Today is going to be a bad day, I can just feel it!” Rather than start out the day like this, why not try praying instead. “Dear Lord, please take over and bless my day. Keep me from embarrassment and help me have the best day I can have, regardless of the circumstances.” How much different our lives may be if we all decided to start the day, and end the day with prayer, whether we felt we needed it or not?
What if People Prayed Every Day
If people prayed every day, when a crisis did happen, prayer wouldn’t seem so awkward. Perhaps people would feel the love of God more, because they would realize God was already part of their everyday families. Many people have a hard time with prayer simply because they feel separated from God. What our Creator really desires more than anything is an intimate relationship with each and every one of us. It is really difficult to form an intimate relationship with someone when you only call them in times of distress. What if you only talked to your husband when you were having a crisis? “Hey honey, I need $40 to pay the phone bill, can you write a check?”
That doesn’t sound like a very loving relationship, does it? But, imagine how God feels when we only take the time to pray when we needed something, or when we find ourselves having an emergency. The great thing about God is he is that he loves us unconditionally. So, even if we find ourselves falling short of prayer time, he still adores us more than we can imagine.
How to Simply Pray
If you find it difficult to pray, start out simply. You don’t have to turn out the lights and get down on your knees. Just start talking with God in the car on your way to work. You can simply wake up each morning and say, “Hello God, make it a great day, and by the way…I love you.” In the long run, that is what God is thinking about you anyway!